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What If You Can’t Drop The Third Shot Into the Kitchen?

No doubt you’ve heard that the best pickleball action depends on dropping the third shot into the kitchen. But what if you can’t reliably drop that third shot into the kitchen? What are your options?

One of the best is to drive the ball hard and low across the net. Against top players this will seldom work because they’ll just slam it back even harder, quite possibly right at your feet, or at an impossible angle. But among average players, this is probably your best bet. If you are a tennis player, or have skill at low, fast shots, you can try putting long shots close to the sidelines. Most players will struggle with this, especially when you place a ball along the edge of the court away from the opponent’s strong hand, forcing a backhand or switch-handed return.

Another good place to put your fast low shot is right between the two players. They will often flub this return because of indecision as to who should return it.

Lobs are another possibility, but can be hard to place. Too close to the net and you’ll eat a monstrous return. Too far back, and it will probably land out of bounds. Too low, and it will be slammed back. Too high, and the opponents will have time to run back and return it. However, many beginners and even intermediate players misjudge the timing on lobs and fail to return them.

Have fun! – Jeff

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